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Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mfumu Kihumba A.,Catholic University of Louvain | Mfumu Kihumba A.,Center Regional Detudes Nucleaires Of Kinshasa | Ndembo Longo J.,Center Regional Detudes Nucleaires Of Kinshasa | Vanclooster M.,Catholic University of Louvain
Hydrogeology Journal | Year: 2016

A multivariate statistical modelling approach was applied to explain the anthropogenic pressure of nitrate pollution on the Kinshasa groundwater body (Democratic Republic of Congo). Multiple regression and regression tree models were compared and used to identify major environmental factors that control the groundwater nitrate concentration in this region. The analyses were made in terms of physical attributes related to the topography, land use, geology and hydrogeology in the capture zone of different groundwater sampling stations. For the nitrate data, groundwater datasets from two different surveys were used. The statistical models identified the topography, the residential area, the service land (cemetery), and the surface-water land-use classes as major factors explaining nitrate occurrence in the groundwater. Also, groundwater nitrate pollution depends not on one single factor but on the combined influence of factors representing nitrogen loading sources and aquifer susceptibility characteristics. The groundwater nitrate pressure was better predicted with the regression tree model than with the multiple regression model. Furthermore, the results elucidated the sensitivity of the model performance towards the method of delineation of the capture zones. For pollution modelling at the monitoring points, therefore, it is better to identify capture-zone shapes based on a conceptual hydrogeological model rather than to adopt arbitrary circular capture zones. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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